Up to 60% of a human’s adult body is water. Without a doubt, water is the most critical element of your body. Your body uses water in tissues, organs, and cells. Water also helps regulate body temperature and maintain other bodily functions.
Since your body may lose water through digestion, breathing, and sweating, you must rehydrate it by drinking fluids or consuming foods with high water content. One of the most pertinent questions you often hear in health discussions is, “how much water should you drink in a day?”
How Much Water Should You Drink Everyday?
You might have often heard that you need to drink eight glasses of water each day. But the truth is no set amount is right for everyone. The amount of water your body needs depends on various factors like your body size, how hot the weather is, how much exercise you do, and lots of other things. If you are confused, speak to your doctor to know the answer to “how much water should you drink in a day?”
Basic Guidelines for Drinking Water
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) suggests men drink 3 liters of water each day, which is equivalent to 13 cups.
The IOM suggests women drink a little over 2 liters a day, which is equivalent to 9 cups a day. Pregnant women must consume at least 10 cups of water a day while breastfeeding women must drink at least 12 cups of water a day.
This is a general rule that does not cover all conditions or scenarios you might face or experience. For example, if you are out on a hot day, you need to drink more water to keep your body hydrated. Similarly, if you have an illness that causes you to throw up or suffer from diarrhea, you need to improve your fluid intake to replenish lost bodily fluids.
How Much Water Your Kids Need To Drink Everyday?
It will help if you consider several things like gender, age, and body weight. Other vital things to consider are how healthy they are, how active they are, where they live, and the climate.
In general, teens and children need to drink at least 6 to 8 cups of water every day. Doctors also recommend children eat fruits that have higher water content. During exercise or play, encourage your children to drink ½ to 2 cups of water every 15 to 20 minutes.
Benefits of Drinking Water
As mentioned earlier, the body requires water for most functions. It would not be wrong to say; water helps every system in the body to function correctly.
- Carries nutrients and oxygen to cells
- Helps digestion
- Prevents constipation
- Flushes bacteria from the bladder
- Stabilizes heartbeat
- Normalizes blood pressure
- Regulates body temperature
- Cushions joints
- Protects organs and tissues
- Maintains electrolyte balance
Too Much of Water Is Not a Good Thing
Too much of anything is not considered good, and it applies to your water consumption also. There is no harm in following the common rule of drinking eight glasses of water in a day. However, if you intend to drink more than your body requires, it is bad for your body.
Too much water in your body causes dilution of sodium in the blood. Not knowing how much water you should drink in a day can cause swelling of lungs and brain as the blood tries to balance out sodium levels. There are examples of athletes dying due to overhydration during sporting events. This explains the seriousness of drinking the right amount of water.
What Counts as Water?
Water intake resources are many and not limited to plain water. It also includes juices, beverages, and food. Hence, you need to be additionally careful when you measure your water consumption for the day.
Smoothies, juices, and sodas are refreshing and hydrating. However, they have a high amount of sugar that is not good for your body. Similarly, tea and coffee also provide water for your body. However, their caffeine content makes you lose more water through urination. Alcoholic drinks also contain water, but they have the same effect as coffee and cause dehydration.
Sports drinks are different altogether. Besides having high water content, they also have carbohydrates and electrolytes that keep your body hydrated and energetic. They can be useful during intense workouts to replenish salt and water lost through sweat. Fruits and vegetables like watermelon, oranges, cucumber, iceberg lettuce, and celery have high water content. They are considered healthy, as they have a variety of minerals and vitamins.
We have tried best to answer the question – how much water should you drink in a day? If you still have doubts in mind, visit your doctor to get your doubts cleared.